Essay: Value Chain of Marathon Oil

Pages: 9 (2443 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Furthermore, when considering that many developing nations have recently begun to nationalize their oil industries (and presumably this trend will continue), the strategic decision by Marathon to develop new technologies seems like a smart choice (Zissis, 2006). Such new technologies include a method for turning remote natural gas into liquid fuels (Marathon Oil Corporation, 2008). Marathon's "Gas-to-Fuels" technology can offer a means for reducing the company's debilitating dependence on crude oil while simultaneously creating a channel for the provision of more environmentally friendly products to its customers (Marathon Oil Corporation, 2008). This new development amounts to a further operational enhancement taking place within the structural composition of Marathon's value chain. Additionally, Marathon's joint venture in the mining of Oil Sands in Canada discussed above illustrates yet another manner in which technological innovation will help to "autonomize" Marathon and its petrochemical industry partners. Such innovative action has shown to be an extremely effective way of improving a company's value chain, while also poising it for the greatest potential level of future success (Roper, Du, & Love, 2008).

While the aforementioned structural and geographic changes to Marathon's pre-existent value chain took place in the realms of marketing, logistics and production, these are not the only areas of the value chain that have been enhanced by this firm. Yet another important area of this business's (and any business's) value chain is human resource management (Walters & Lancaster, 2000). The value added to a company as a result of competent employees can be monumental. Consequently, Marathon has recently created and implemented strategic mechanisms promoting employee proficiency and longevity (Marathon Oil Corporation, 2010). The foundation of these internal initiatives lies in Marathon's customized training programs, which offer financial incentives, in order to endorse the ultimate education and retention of employees. These policies aim to include employees at all levels of the corporate ladder. From management guidance to basic employee job instruction, Marathon's educational agenda is certainly cumulative. And by providing fiscal incentives, such plans will help employees to earn extra pay on the job, while also allowing them the opportunity to move up in the company. This type of managerial tactic can prove to be extremely effective, especially when considering that the presence of advancement opportunities is a key indicator in determining how long an individual will remain with his or her current employer (Kickul, 2001). Employee retention rates can be very helpful in adding value to a company. While not having to make costly expenditures associated with the chronic searching for new human resource inputs and the subsequent training of newly-hired individuals, this company can ensure growing internal knowledge and company loyalty, while simultaneously enriching its value chain (Walters & Lancaster, 2000). Moreover, especially considering the industrial threats and restrictions currently present in the oil industry, Marathon's comprehensive and strategic approach to enhancing the internal components of its value chain seems like an extremely intelligent means of adding value to the company.

Ultimately, innovation and new technologies are needed across the board in order for the Marathon and its petroleum industry counterparts to negotiate the abundance of obstacles they now face. With global oil reserves rapidly diminishing, it is no secret that the oil companies need to find other ways to maintain profitable value chains, and adequately serve the needs of their customers. The restructuring of value-adding sources like production, marketing, logistics and the management of vital human resources are all factors that must be considered by any oil company that wants to remain viable in the increasingly uncertain future. Countless political and environmental initiatives stand in the way of the fruitful continuance of traditional value chains and productive methods of this worldwide industry. Therefore, companies not wishing to make changes and embrace the future will surely be left behind.

Bibliography

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Kickul, J. (2001). Promises Made, Promises Broken: An Exploration of Employee Attraction and Retention Practices in Small Business. Journal of Small Business Management, 39 (4), 320 -- 335.

Marathon Oil Corporation. (2008, January 1). Brands and Products. Retrieved February 11, 2011, from Marathon: http://www.marathon.com/Brands_and_Products/

Marathon Oil Corporation. (2010, March 1). Oil Sands Mining. Retrieved February 11, 2011, from Marathon Facts: http://www.marathon.com/content/documents/fact_sheets/fact_sheet_osm_March2010.pdf

Marathon Oil Corporation. (2010, December 1). Refining, Marketing and Transportation. Retrieved February 12, 2011, from Marathon Facts: http://www.marathon.com/content/documents/fact_sheets/fact_sheet_rmt_Dec2010.pdf

Marathon Oil Corporation. (2008, January 1). Technology. Retrieved February 11, 2011, from Marathon Oil Corporation: http://www.marathon.com/Global_Operations/Technology/

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Savage, C. (2010, June 22). Drilling Ban Blocked; U.S. Will Issue New Order. Retrieved February 12, 2011, from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/23/us/23drill.html

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Zissis, C. (2006, May 12). Bolivia's… [END OF PREVIEW]

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